Post-16 Area Learning Advocate (Ref 3736)

  • Multiple Locations
  • Full Time
  • £38,553 - £42,614 (pending the 2022/23 pay award)

Working days are negotiable.

Job Purpose:

The main function of this role is to act as an education advocate for post 16 looked after young people ensuring that any barriers to success are challenged while promoting a culture of high aspiration for every individual in Local Authority Care. We aim for their achievement and progress to be at least in line with their peers. This post will also work to reduce those young people not in education employment and training by leading on aspirational events for all our Looked after children and liaison with schools and colleges to raise the profile of this cohort and share effective strategies.

Main Duties & Responsibilities:

The Virtual School Headteacher holds overall responsibility for the educational outcomes for all Looked After Children. Each Area Learning Advocate will ensure that they track and promote the educational achievement of every child in the cohort they are responsible for and report directly to the Virtual School Headteacher. They will also ensure that Looked After Children access the best possible provision and that schools/colleges address any specific needs or barriers that get in the way of progress and achievement. They will have regular and direct contact with senior staff in schools/Colleges raising concerns about educational progress

Devon has over 700 Children Looked After aged between 0 and 18 years. From the age of 2, all Children in Care will be eligible for a high-quality educational setting if that is appropriate for them.

The Area Learning Advocates will be the key point of contact for a wide range of schools and settings and must ensure that Personal Education Plans (PEPs) are targeted to improve and maximise educational opportunities and outcomes.

The Area Learning Advocates will link closely with assigned Social Workers and Managers in Social Care, Headteachers, Designated Teachers and other key professionals. The Area Learning Advocate will get to know their cohort of Looked After Children well and champion their individual education needs to secure better outcomes for them.

Every Local Authority is required to monitor and promote the attainment of Looked After Children. Unless aspirations are proven to be high and individual Looked After Children are actively supported, they will fail. The impact of failure will be huge on the rest of their lives.

The Area Learning Advocate will:

  • Lead the work with the post 16 providers forum to share good practice, reduce drop out from provisions, increase attendance and improve outcomes.
  • Manage the post 16 pupil premium budget.
  • Ensure every post 16 learner has 3 Personal education plan meetings a year and that the quality of these is high.
  • Ensure good outcomes through regular monitoring of progress and securing high quality, strong educational provision for all Looked After Children.
  • Work with the other Virtual school Area Learning Advocates to ensure each young person in year 11 has an appropriate transition plan for post 16.
  • Ensure that a planned appropriate post 18 provision is in place for each young person.
  • Prioritise securing education, training or employment for each young person.
  • Take the lead for the Virtual school in reducing the number of young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) by working directly with this cohort and being proactive with those at risk of becoming NEET who are still of statutory school age.
  • Develop an expertise in post 16 provision for the Virtual school.
  • Develop positive working links and understanding between the Virtual school and post 16 providers.
  • Hold Headteachers, senior staff in schools and other professionals to account for their contribution to ensuring improved educational outcomes for Looked After Children.
  • Secure the best possible educational setting and support for each child.
  • Work with Foster Carers and Social Workers to share information about (age appropriate) education opportunities and to make informed choices.
  • Ensure early identification of need where a child requires assessment or additional support.
  • Ensure Looked After Children can access a broad and rich curriculum matched to their need and can access a range of cultural and social activities to support their learning.
  • Know their children well and actively promote DCC’s role as Corporate Parents.
  • Secure high levels of attendance and access to an appropriate timetable and curriculum.
  • Report to the Virtual School Governing Body and Corporate Parenting Forum, as appropriate.
  • Ensure that the voice of the child is at the heart of every learning conversation including choice of school/training and the PEP process.
  • Take a holistic view of the child working closely in a multi-agency environment and at education transition points.
  • Ensure all information is kept up to date about a young person and that schools/colleges keep Foster Carers, Social Workers and the Virtual School Headteacher fully informed and that information is shared appropriately.
  • Ensure that schools support the emotional wellbeing of all children in Local Authority care and that they can access support when needed, for example, through use of both Pupil Premium Plus and Early Help services.
  • Make formal referrals for specialist help, ensure these are followed up and implemented.
  • Robustly promote placement and educational stability.
  • Ensure that Looked After Children feel safe in school/college and that concerns are raised particularly around any incidents of bullying.
  • Regularly attend and contribute to reviewing panels for the Looked After Children they are responsible for. Undertake prompt follow up work with Professionals.
  • Liaise with other Local Authorities and organisations that place Looked After Children in Devon Schools/colleges as needed.
  • Work to close the attainment and progress gap between Looked After Children and their peers.
  • Ensure early identification of SEND and related processes are implemented in line with the SEND Code of Practice.


  • We are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and vulnerable adults and expect all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. 
  • DCC embraces the positive benefits of a diverse workforce and is committed to providing an environment that is inclusive and safe. We welcome applications from people who share our commitment to stop discrimination, challenge inequality and promote diversity across Devon. More information can be found on ourEquality and Diversity webpages.  
  • The Council offers flexible working arrangements in terms of when and where people work e.g. hybrid working, part-time, condensed hours etc. 
  • This role requires the ability to fulfil all spoken aspects of the role with confidence and fluency in English. 
  • Personal data we collect from you will be processed in accordance with the Applicant privacy notice
  • Happy to Talk Flexible Working
  • For more information about Working for Devon please visit our Working for Devon page
  • This role requires a DBS disclosure. 

Apply Now

Job Details

  • OrganisationDevon County Council
  • Work LocationExeterDevon
  • Work Postcode

  • Reference


  • Occupational GroupEducation Support

  • Salary Details

    £38,553 - £42,614 (pending the 2022/23 pay award)

  • Job TermPermanent
  • Appointment TypeFull Time
  • Hours

    29 - 37 hours per week

  • Closing Date


  • DBS Check Required